Seven months after suicide - I'm good, how are you?
For all who have posted here, please know you and your families are in my prayers.
I've been asked by one of the previous posters to update the forum on my journey so far after the loss of my wife seven months ago to suicide. She is struggling and asks for a helping hand out of her grief and pain from those that understand our experience. She has also lost her spouse to suicide.
In specific, she asked me to post about any guilt as I've experienced it.
This will be a long post so go grab a cup of coffee.
There could be many sources of guilt - I'll discuss the ones I feel I know about. I am fortunate, I have not experienced much guilt in any form. My wife was ill for 15 years - desperately so for the last 12. I am comfortable with the knowledge that her doctors and I did all we could to treat her depression, ADD and bi-polar conditions. We tried every resonable treatment. I did everything she asked of me so as not to upset her and to try and calm her fears. I changed jobs, dropped friends, pretty much dropped everything I wanted to do in order to help her out. I didn't say a thing when she ripped out entire walls of the house and on and on and on. I built my life around her care and made all efforts to make her life as smooth as possible.
I told her at least once a day that I loved her and I would never leave her. I'm sure she believed me. I meant it.
For a very short time, 3 or 4 days immediately following her death, I did feel a bit guilty about having a gun in the house. (She shot herself in our bedroom while I was out of town with my two sons). I had previously moved it to an other location and had recently brought it back as she had completely turned herself around. She was bright, happy and upbeat. It was a side of her I hadn't seen in years. I thought she was in remission so to speak. Obviously, I was wrong.
But, both the coroner and the chief of police spoke to me in detail about this. I told them of my feeling of guilt. They both told me to forget it. They said the means of her death was not important because she would have killed herself anyway, even if the weapon was not available. The coroner said she would have found another means and that it would not have been as quick or painless as the method she chose. As hard as it is to accept, he said this was a blessing.
One final little bit of short term guilt. I thought "maybe if I was home, I could have stopped her." Again the chief of police disabused me of that notion. He said, No, if you had fought with her to take the gun away you'd be dead too and your boys would be orphans. I'm sure he is right.
I know my wife was not in her right mind when she left us. I know there is nothing I could have done differently that would have changed the outcome. Oh, her death may have come at a different date or time, but it would have been by her hand in any case.
Ultimately, my wife was in charge of herself and her actions, not me. She may have not been in control, but I would never been able to take that control from her and change the outcome. If someone wants to kill themself, they will.
This post is way longer than it should be already. I'll address the other two areas that I was asked about in
What have your experiences been with guilt? Anything you are feeling or things you did to relieve guilt if you had any?
Please let me know.